Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ablach to the Future: Scottish Grindcore Historians Get Their Learn On

Take out your number 2 lead pencils, boys and girls because this is a test. What exactly to do you know about Scottish history? Bonus points for not referencing either Braveheart or Highlander. Or we could skip all that tedious pedagogy and just headbang to Ablach’s debut EP instead.
Two covers aside, Aon (Gaelic for “one”), is an 18 minute crash course in Hibernian Gaelic [Ed's note: st00pid Americans and their incorrect adjectives] history that clips along at a crusted grindcore pace. Though the uneven production left me a tad cold, I haven’t been able to get the meaty little plastic slab out of my head. In a genre paralyzed by lyrical conceits you can quantify on the digits of a single appendage, to hear a band reach for something personal and meaningful in a grindcore context was startling in its originality. Turns out, that really wasn’t the band’s intention at first.
“There was no premeditation when it came to style of music or indeed lyrical content when the guys first entered a room together,” Ablach guitarist Bazz said. “The noise came naturally and our first batch of songs continued on from where Filthpact was leading in its Scottish tendencies. Once the band name was decided upon the whole concept became a bit more obvious to us.”
And by obvious he means strip mining all eras of Scottish history without wallowing in neo-pagan rejectionism of the modern world or saccharine peons to an era where dying of easily preventable illnesses at 35 was considered a life well lived.
“Lyrically it's about the darker side of reality, but from Scottish sources old and new,” Bazz said. “Personally it's mostly the really old stuff that we know very little about, the ambiguous ‘Picts’ and their carved monuments we still puzzle over.”
Turns out there’s plenty of darkness to puzzle over from a country that coined a word – Ablach – to distinguish mangled corpses from your more run of the mill variety.
“I also thought it was screwed up that one word was created for such an occurrence, but it turns out that Gaelic words are a little broader in definition than in English,” Bazz said. “So the same word would be used in other circumstance, ie. a burned out car, post-wolf attack (when we had such creatures roaming wild) livestock etc.”
With that kind of linguistic brutality near at hand and several centuries worth of atrocities to pull from, Ablach don’t stand to lack for inspiration. Indeed, Bazz said the Scottish sextet is already at work on their second LP, which, naturally, will be named Dha.


Will BSP said...

I love the shit out of this record. I was really impressed lyrically, and with the whole presentation of the band, and that was the icing on the cake. I wish more bands were playing grind like this!

206-grind said...

First heard them on the 5-way split European Fastness and was blown away. I like their raw, grimey sound.

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